From 2002-2004 his record gets murky."Mitt Romney won't return to the business world after the 2002 Winter Games but instead will pursue public service, possibly elected office."
The Wiki article says "He transferred his ownership to other partners and negotiated an agreement that allowed him to receive a passive profit share as a retired partner in some Bain Capital entities, including buyout and investment funds." Supposedly that is similar to a blind trust, except there is nothing blind about it and the Wiki article doesn't say when the transfer occured. Normally a "passive profit share" would indicate no active involvement in business decisions. The article admits that his money wasn't in a blind trust until 2003, so it is that period between 2001 and 2003 where the arguments run right now. Politico claims that:
"Romney did not finalize a severance agreement with Bain until 2002, a 10-year deal with undisclosed terms that was retroactive to 1999. It expired in 2009."[http://www.politico.com/blogs/burns-haberman/2012/07/when-did-romney-leave-bain-128735.html]
Trouble is that if Romney stated that he was leaving Bain for private work in 2001, but didn't actually do so until 2002, and shows on the records the whole time as CEO of the company, that really doesn't pass a smell test.
Government documents indicate Mitt Romney continued at Bain after date when he says he left - The Bo
Mitt Romney has repeatedly sought to distance himself from some business dealing...
"Bain Capital and the campaign for the presumptive GOP nominee have suggested the SEC filings that show Romney as the man in charge during those additional three years have little meaning, and are the result of legal technicalities. The campaign declined to comment on the record. It pointed to a footnote in Romney’s most recent financial disclosure form, filed June 1 as a presidential candidate."
Naturally. Fact Checker maintains;
If the Obama campaign were correct, Romney would be guilty of a federal felony by certifying on federal financial disclosure forms that he left active management of Bain Capital in February 1999….http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/mitt-romney-and-his-departure-from-bain/2012/07/12/gJQAASzUfW_blog.html
So, it's going to take a little fact checking by real fact checkers to get to the heart of this subject. Fact is Romney was technically in charge (CEO), owner of Bain Capital, was apprised of many of its decisions, and doesn't announce that he's not going to continue with business until his work at the Olympics is over. Was he involved in day to day operations? What CEO is? Was he involved in high level decisions? Maybe he can avoid prosecution but he can't pass the smell test.
My own feeling is that even if Romney wasn't involved in day to day operations, he's still responsible for what his company decided to do while he was still technically at the helm, and he's responsible for what Bain does as the owner of that company as well.
The examiner writes:
"Whether Romney lied on the SEC filings and other documents, or whether he is lying now, he lied nevertheless. Either he resigned in 1999 and lied to the SEC, or he didn’t resign then and therefore he is lying about the outsourcing now. Both statements can not be true. Obama and the Washington Post trust the official filings Romney signed at the time, not the statements the campaign is making now."
Also whether Romney left in 1999 or not, his big investment in outsourcing was in 1998.